Heaven & Hell: David Whiteley and Amelia Reynolds
- Credit: Contributed
David and Amelia are two of the region’s best-loved TV presenters. They speak to Gina Long...
What is your connection to East Anglia?
Amelia: I am pretty much East Anglian born and bred. We moved to Fressingfield on the Norfolk/Suffolk border when I was one. My parents still live in the same house in the village.
David: I was born in Rochford in Essex and have always lived and worked in the East Anglian region. First at Essex FM radio in Southend from 1995, then at the BBC in Chelmsford, before moving to Norwich in 2001 to work at BBC East. I joined ITV News Anglia in the summer of 2021.
What’s your East Anglian heaven?
Amelia: I love the big skies and the beaches and the feeling of home.
David: Well it has to be the beaches for me. Having grown up by the sea in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, I gravitate towards the water. I took up surfing in 2004, so the beaches of Norfolk and Suffolk are my happy places.
What’s your East Anglian hell?
Amelia: It’s a bit of a hassle getting anywhere else quickly either by road or train.
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David: I agree with Amelia. Getting to and from anywhere can take its time, but that adds to the charm, right?
Your favourite local restaurants?
Amelia: I love getting fish and chips from the ‘black hut’ in the car park at Dunwich and eating them on the beach. I used to do that as a child and now enjoy doing it with our girls
David: For a special occasion I love the Wildebeest in Stoke Holy Cross, but also love grabbing a coffee and a bite from North Sea Coffee on the prom in Cromer.
Do you have a favourite East Anglian landmark?
Amelia: The war memorial on the A11 at Elveden. If we’ve been away it means we’re nearly home.
David: It has to be Cromer Pier for me. From my surfboard I've stared at it so many times. It's a wonderful structure.
The best thing that happens in East Anglia every year?
Amelia: The seasons. They are beautiful and clearly defined here and I love that.
David: I agree with Amelia on that one. Being surrounded by nature in this part of the world you certainly notice the changes far more.
What is your specialist Mastermind subject?
Amelia: I would be dreadful at that. I am a “know a little about lots of things” sort of girl!
David: Probably Star Wars!
What’s always in your fridge?
Salad, cheese and a cold beer...or three.
What’s your simple philosophy of life?
Amelia: It’s short. Live it!
David: Always be nice to people.
Do you have a favourite film?
Amelia: Love Actually
David: Star Wars. But also Jaws and Ghostbusters.
What was your first job?
Amelia: Weekend chambermaid at the Oaksmere Hotel near Eye in Suffolk (aged 15).
David: Spud boy in a fish and chip shop in Essex, I worked at a boatyard too at 15 years old. I was paid £1.50 an hour.
What is your most treasured possession?
Amelia: My family.
David: My family...and my surf board.
What’s your worst character trait?
Amelia: I have little patience
David Me too. Hurry up!
Where is your favourite holiday destination?
Amelia: I love the Greek islands and the north Norfolk coast.
David: Obviously the north Norfolk coast...and Portugal, the surf there is amazing.
Best day of your life?
Amelia: Marrying David, becoming a mum and then a family of 4. I know that’s three days.
David: Marrying Amelia, and becoming a dad.
What’s your favourite breakfast?
Amelia: Fruit, yoghurt, granola and honey. I could eat that for every meal.
David: A full English.
What’s your favourite tipple?
Amelia: A glass of chilled white wine.
David: Cold beer, always.
What’s your hidden talent?
Amelia: I play the piano and I am learning the saxophone.
David: Not sure I have any.
What’s your earliest memory?
Amelia: On the beach at Waldringfield where my grandparents took a leading role with the sailing club.
David: On the beach with my late parents. My love for the seaside started at a very young age, thanks to mum and dad.
What would you like played at your funeral?
Amelia: Whatever my family would like to listen to.
David: Something relevant I guess. Our first dance at our wedding was to ‘Somewhere beyond the sea’ - that would be a good one.
Tell us something people don’t know about you?
Amelia: I’m not sure there is anything. What you see is what you get
David: Growing up I wanted to be an actor, both my parents were. But I'm very happy doing what I do.
What’s the worst thing anyone has ever said to you?
Amelia: “I’m sorry, it’s cancer.” I was diagnosed with bowel cancer last year and underwent a course of radio and chemotherapy. Thanks to the wonderful staff at the N&N my six months scans were clear and I am feeling great.
David: Amelia telling me about her diagnosis.
Tell us why you live here and nowhere else?
Amelia: It’s home. Simple as that
David: We grew up here and it's everything to us.
What do you want to tell our readers about most?
Amelia: Watch BBC Look East, BBC 1 at 6.30pm every weekday.
David: Watch ITV News, Anglia ITV at 6pm weekdays.
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